We writers work our asses off. I know some of us don’t go into an office, or work nine to five. We sit on our phones and no, we aren’t just looking at facebook, we’re writing extensive notes because if we let it go another minute we’re going to lose it. All those times we’re staring off into space we’re working our way though the plot issue we haven’t been able to figure out yet. We’re working while we lay in bed and can’t sleep. We’re working at nearly every event we go to. The wheels are spinning and we can’t turn it off, because we are trying to get that one damn scene right. Does it have enough tension? Are we over describing? Too much detail about the room and not enough feeling. What about that first paragraph we’ve written in our head fifteen times.
A lot of us have other jobs too, but even if we don’t we work constantly. I won’t say we work more than any other profession, but we are up there. It might not be considered high stress, but we put ourselves out there every single day. All those inner thoughts most people would never want to share with anyone bleed into our work, and we expose the deep dark crevasse of our minds for people to nit pick and tear down. We’ve all had to get to a point where we don’t even read reviews anymore, because for as many five star rave reviews as we get, there is always that one that hits right in the heart, like the reviewer could see in our soul and knew what we were most insecure about. And then we carry that review around with us for the rest of our lives, and we have to question constantly if those words were right.
I’ve been writing as long as I knew what words were, and there are reasons for this. As much as books can be an escape for some, writing is my escape. I’ve been making up worlds for myself to live as long as I can remember because I hated my life so much needed a place to escape to. I lose myself in books, and my own fantasy worlds. They were my safe place. I had a plethora of imaginary friends I’d babble on about as soon as I could talk. I used to write about an imaginary alien race so much, my family friends thought I’d actually seen aliens, because the world building was too in-depth for a seven year old. I’ve turned my passion and private escape into a job. One I can do full time. But just because I stay home all day with no pants on doesn’t mean I don’t work as much or more than people with ‘real jobs.’
Writers work for themselves, so we don’t always have deadlines, we have to keep ourselves constantly self-motivated. Nowadays writing is more than just putting words on a page. Writers have to be marketers. We have to figure out the complexity of advertising, and keywords. Writers have to be social media experts. Writers have to curate a brand. We have to have pretty instagrams, and content to put out constantly to stay relevant. We have to give our fans access into our lives because we are more than our words. This is the social media world we live in.
I personally get up at 5 A.M to work, because those quiet hours before my phone is going crazy, and before my kids are awake, are some of my most productive hours. Just because I don’t answer messages until after eight doesn’t mean I’m sleeping. I write or edit late into the night when I have other things to do as well. Some of us write in those hours we are plagued by insomnia too.
And I love every minute of it. Without writing, my head would be a clusterfuck of feelings I couldn’t deal with any other way. I’ve said so often, writing is my therapy, the way I work through my emotions and my thoughts. The truth is even if I didn’t do this for a living I would be doing it, because I don’t know how else to function. But for those that think writers don’t work just as hard, if not harder than anyone else just because we never leave the house, you’re wrong. I have a million things going on in my mind in all my waking hours, and about fifteen balls I’m juggling while I’m smiling and small talking.
I understand people who don’t write will never get it, and that no one wants to pay for books when there are an abundance for free or .99 cents. It’s not something we are asking other people to get. But please don’t say we don’t work hard, we don’t pour everything inside us into our art. This message is not directed at anyone who will probably ever read my blog, or the dedicated readers who support authors so fiercely. It will fall on deaf ears because let’s be honest the person who I heard saying this probably doesn’t even read.
For all those that will read this, and who support me so much, thanks for reading and supporting your favorite authors. Keep buying their books on release day. Visibility matters. The higher we get on amazon the more people see our books. If they have a Ko-Fi account show your love there too if you can spare it. I know how tight things can be. Tell your friends to buy the books. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool to authors and it’s completely up to our fans to accomplish it. People would be shocked at how many books I sell when people mention my books or suggest them in groups. Every single one matters. You matter to your favorite author. Comments on our blogs and and social media posts matter. Every single like and comment shows Facebook and other social media sites we are relevant, and they raise our numbers so our posts show up on more feeds.
We get to do what we love because of our fans and I could not be more thankful.